As many of you know, I was accepted into the Peace Corps. It was something I worked extremely hard for, was very passionate about, and ultimately declined.
I started the application process in September, just at the start of school, didn’t do much research and sent off my application at the end of October. November, I had an interview, and they sent me an invitation of acceptance three days ago.
During the time between when I sent off my application and up until today (almost midnight on the end of the third final decision day), I did my research. I read blogs, I talked to people, I watched videos, explored the Peace Corps website, read through the informational materials that the Peace Corps sent to me of what my duties would be, etc etc.
It became very clear to me that this two year commitment in a country I had already been to once before, was going to be extremely restrictive. No visits home, no social media, no Google, no US news, nothing. Extremely cut off in hard conditions (which I’ve read numerous times made people depressed, which I’ll discuss more in a sec), and was not the type of situation I wanted to be in. It wasn’t going to be a conducive environment for me to help the country or the community I would be immersed in if I wasn’t happy.
And I was becoming more and more unhappy just thinking about making the decision. I told a few people that I hoped they would decline me so I wouldn’t have to make the decision myself.
Was being chosen a huge honor? YES. A thousand times yes. But the more I thought about it and the more people I talked to, I was convincing myself to go for the wrong reasons; It was to please other people who they themselves had never gone or would never go. It was to prove people wrong that I could do this crazy wild thing and survive.
And that’s not a good enough reason. I’m no quitter. I see things through to the end. My freshman year of college, I was extremely depressed. I didn’t do well in school, I slept a lot, I didn’t take care of myself, and I was not at my peak. It was a tough adjustment period, living away from home for the first time and trying to navigate college. But I got through it. I was still connected and able to fall into simple comforts like social media, books, etc. The Peace Corps would limit that list down and I’m not ready for that.
So, I made the decision to not go. Am I going to be missing out on amazing opportunities? Yes. Does that bother me? Sure, but I’m a strong believer in everything happening for a reason, and I knew I would be happier not making that jump just yet. I felt physically ill thinking about accepting it, I would wake up at night, heart pounding, thinking about having to tell them yes. And I only felt that way because of the people around me pressuring me to do something I didn’t want to do.
Sometimes you have to say no. And saying no is okay. I’ll figure out things as I go, graduation is still a long way off and I’ve got a few backup plans in my pocket, but for now, I’m staying right where I belong. Because this is my life and I’ll be damned if anyone tries to make decisions for me.